Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam.
Verizon seemingly won a huge victory in January when a federal appeals court struck down network neutrality restrictions on blocking and discriminating against Internet content over fixed broadband connections.
But Verizon’s lawsuit against the Federal Communications Commission could backfire, with the commission now considering even stronger rules on both fixed and wireless networks. That’s why fellow Internet service providers are “secretly furious” with Verizon, tech policy reporter Brendan Sasso of National Journal wrote today:
Other Internet service providers won’t publicly criticize Verizon. But privately, lobbyists grumble that they wouldn’t be in this mess if Verizon had just accepted the old rules.
Four broadband-industry officials said there’s widespread frustration with Verizon for making what they view as a bad strategic error. Some companies had even tried to talk Verizon out of filing its lawsuit, officials said.
“They were like a dog chasing a bus,” one broadband source said. “What are you going to do when you catch the bus?”
The 2010 FCC rules that Verizon successfully overturned prevented fixed broadband providers from blocking Internet content and strongly discouraged paid prioritization agreements in which online services pay ISPs for priority access to consumers. The rules for cellular carriers were weaker, though; wireless carriers were allowed to block applications that didn’t compete against their telephony services and did not have to follow the anti-discrimination rule.
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